Punishment is an Australian television soap opera made by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Ten Network in 1981. Set in a fictional men's prison, the series attempted to present a male version of the successful soap Prisoner. Attempts by the show's makers to differentiate the series from Prisoner saw Punishment imbued with greater realism; however, the formula did not attract high viewing figures. Network Ten deemed the new series a failure after only three episodes had gone to air, and it was quickly removed from the schedules. The remainder of the 26 episodes produced were shown out-of-ratings later that year. Unusually for a soap opera, the series was taped using the single camera technique. The regular cast featured many notable Australian actors including Brian Wenzel, Barry Crocker, Michael Preston, Ross Thompson, Anne Haddy, George Spartels, Cornelia Frances, Lisa Peers and Julie McGregor. Mel Gibson played a prisoner in the first episode. Kris McQuade played the girlfriend of Gibson's character and was phased out of the series after the first few episodes due to Gibson's departure. The programme was produced and directed by Alan Coleman.